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Building the Next Generation of Global Mental Health Researchers

NAMHC Concept Clearance

Presenter

LeShawndra N. Price, Ph.D.
Office for Research on Disparities & Global Mental Health (ORDGMH)

Goal

The purpose of this initiative is to support the career development and training of outstanding early career mental health researchers interested in pursuing global mental health research careers.

Rationale

Persistent disparities in access to mental health care and inadequately distributed human resources for mental health contribute to unmet needs for mental health services in the United States. In concert with robust mental health services research efforts domestically, collaborative global research activities permit innovations developed in wealthy countries to be adapted for use in lower income settings, and innovations in poor countries to be applied in wealthy countries. A new cadre of skilled investigators is needed to integrate the values of global cooperation for mental health research while conducting rigorous methodological and study design skills.

In 2011, NIMH published the Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health (GCGMH) , a set of global priorities that, if addressed, can help to reduce the burden of mental disorders around the world. One assumption underlying the GCGMH is the necessity of global cooperation in mental health research to solve problems. In this context, global mental health research contains these elements: (1) the problem bears relevance to many countries (i.e., high-, middle- and low-income) and may be influenced by determinants or solutions that transcend national borders; (2) the research activities aim to reduce disease burden and increase health equity; and (3) the research activities utilize collaborative, interdisciplinary approaches. In this regard, global mental health research is necessary for generating, implementing, and disseminating knowledge in the United States as well as abroad.

The goal of this initiative is to create new and enhance existing training opportunities for early career mental health researchers interested in pursuing global mental health careers. NIMH expects this initiative to increase the number of early career investigators whose basic and clinical research interests are grounded in the advanced methods and experimental approaches needed to address global mental health problems.

Anticipated outcomes include:

  • An increase in the number of early career investigators who are committed to global mental health careers, and who will encourage and foster the development of such future scholars;
  • Development of a cadre of mental health researchers able to address global mental health concerns in multiple settings; and,
  • An increase in the number of early career investigators applying for and receiving research awards from NIMH.

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